Lawmakers Continue Betraying Americans

Americans are being sold out and betrayed by an incredibly corrupt federal government while the vast majority of main stream media is sitting by watching it happen, leaving a lot of Americans uninformed of how their freedoms, privacy and rights are being quelled and destroyed by threats of vetoes and blatantly obvious uses of fear and terror.

Due to the importance of the outcome of the FISA amendment being ram-rodded through the Senate by a self-appointed imperialistic presidential administration, it’s important to make more people aware of the incredible BS going on with the vast majority of our elected officials in the federal government.

Entirely too many of our Senators have been bought and paid for by large corporations. As a result, our Senators don’t listen to their constituents. A large majority of Americans object to the retroactive immunity intended to be used to cover up massive abuse of self-appointed powers: fraud, illegal spying on Americans, lies and deceptions, torture and numerous other war crimes — just to name a few — not to mention the cluster you-know-what called the Iraq war, that has killed too many and left too many others hung out to dry.

Because it is so important, between the lines below is a post from AlterNet written by Christy Hardin Smith regarding the ongoing FISA battle and the Bush administration’s demands for retroacive immunity.

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FISA Battle: Stand and Be Counted article from AlterNet:

Posted by Christy Hardin Smith, Firedoglake at 6:58 AM on January 24, 2008.

Who will stand for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law in the Senate and be counted today?

Who will stand for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law in the Senate and be counted today? Who will stand up with Sens. Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold and put their values on the line, standing up for the foundations of American government over political expediency, a “get out of jail free” card for Dick Cheney and his minions including telecoms, and a pending airline ticket to Davos.

Hey Dick and telecoms: if you do not take the rule of law seriously, then you have no business asking for a favor and a pass. That applies to Vice Presidents and their minions as much as it does for large corporations who have scads of legal beagles on retainer, fully capable of reading the FISA law and comprehending the straightforward penalty provisions and warrant requirements. The Bush Administration should not be allowed to use Congress as their own, personal CYA brigade. Period.

The Feinstein “compromise” amendment? Nothing but fluff and capitulation, dressed up in a tidy little package — and contrary to the FISA law as written. Glenn has the lowdown. The Courage Campaign has more. For my money, the Dodd/Feingold Amendment is a far superior option that removes retroactive immunity, and stands for the rule of law, not in contravention of it.

Here’s the reality of the fight today, via CQ:

Crucially, the bill also would grant retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have been sued for their alleged role in the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program between the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and August 2007, when the latest, temporary version of the law was enacted. The White House has repeatedly called for such immunity.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved its own version of the bill without retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies by a 10-9 party-line vote Nov. 15, a decision it ratified by voice vote the following day after a procedural question was raised.

Reid plans to again allow the Judiciary panel’s bill to be offered on the floor as a substitute for the Intelligence panel’s version. The Senate is expected to vote Thursday on a motion to table that substitute.

Dodd, who is opposed to retroactive immunity, threatened to use every procedural delay available to him if the immunity is not stripped….

Even if the bill overcomes its considerable hurdles in the Senate, a deal with the House on FISA legislation would be nearly impossible before the Feb. 1 expiration of the temporary law. The House passed a FISA overhaul bill (HR 3773) in November that lacks immunity for the telecommunications providers, drawing a White House veto threat….

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer , D-Md., noting that the House would not have enough time to reach a deal with the Senate next week on longer-term legislation, pressed House Minority Whip Roy Blunt , R-Mo., to get on board with a one-month extension. Blunt was noncommittal but said the intelligence community needed to have at least the spying authority it has now, without interruption.

And that, in a nutshell, is where things stand as we begin the day today. Please, take some time to call your elected representatives — Senators and House members. Tell them they must stand up for the Constitution and the rule of law — and that you expect them not to let lawbreakers off the hook. Now, let’s hit the phones and FAXes…

Numbers for Senators are here. Numbers for House members are here. Toll-free numbers for Congress from Katymine:

1 (800) 828 – 0498

1 (800) 459 – 1887

1 (800) 614 – 2803

1 (866) 340 – 9281

1 (866) 338 – 1015

1 (877) 851 – 6437

We should also focus on the 14 Senators who promised to help Sens. Dodd and Feingold last December, and who pushed for removal of retroactive immunity. Here are their fax and phone numbers:

Name Fax Phone

Feingold (202) 224-2725 (202) 224-5323

Dodd (202) 224-1083 (202) 224-2823

Obama (202) 228-4260 (202) 224-2854

Sanders (202) 228-0776 (202) 224-5141

Menendez (202) 228-2197 (202) 224-4744

Biden (202) 224-0139 (202) 224-5042

Brown (202) 228-6321 (202) 224-2315

Harkin (202) 224-9369 (202) 224-3254

Cardin (202) 224-1651 (202) 224-4524

Clinton (202) 228-0282 (202) 224-4451

Akaka (202) 224-2126 (202) 224-6361

Webb (202) 228-6363 (202) 224-4024

Kennedy (202) 224-2417 (202) 224-4543

Boxer (415) 956-6701 (202) 224-3553

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Any Senator that votes for the current FISA amendment requested by the White House should be found guilty of treason for aiding and abetting one of, if not the most corrupt presidential administrations in the history of the United States. Citizens want their country back.

The FISA amendment Bush wants would give him, Cheney and all the rest retroactive immunity for all the war crimes they’ve committed at our expense. No one should be above the law. As many times as this administration has intentionally and repeatedly used terrorism to commit terrorism and destroy millions of lives, they need to be held accountable along with everyone who helped them.

The Senate already defeated a FISA amendment that would have given the FISA court authority it needed but didn’t have retroactive immunity. Bush threatened to veto any bill except the one he wants that gives him and his cohorts a get-out-of-jail-free-card, putting them above the law. None of the major candidates who keep promising “change” in the presidential race were there to vote for it.

It’s time for Congress to grow some balls and start doing what they were elected to do — be the voice of the people — and quit bending over for Bush co., not to mention, time to do the right thing or it’s time to recall several Senators. Some of our Senators, especially a couple from my state — Feinstein and Pelosi for example — have been a major disappointment to their constituents.

This BS has gone on entirely too long at our expense. It’s also time for the main stream media to start letting the public know about the under-handed, deceitful tactics used by the Bush administration to cover their butts and absolve themselves of all blame.

If you want to get involved, call your Senator(s) and tell them how you feel. Americans have been sold out and betrayed long enough.

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